Because of the bengal's wild,exotic look many people think that bengals are wild cats but this is not true. Bengals originated with a breeding between an Asian Leopard Cat (which is a wild cat) and a domestic cat. The first 4 generations of bengal to leopard cat breedings are not considered domestic. After four to five generations of Bengal-to-Bengal breeding, the breed is recognized for championship competition by most international domestic cat associations including TICA, ACFA, GCCF, and AACE. Breeders of the bengal have succeeded in producing a wild looking, domestic cat!
When you hear the description of a bengal you may have heard of the terms below. Below is a description for the terms commonly used for bengals.
Here is a list of terms you might have heard from bengal breeders:
for an explanation of these terms go to this page.
3.) Foundation cat, filial,early generation, or F1, F2 , F3:
All of these terms are used to describe the first three generations from initial domestic to Asian leopard cat mating. These generations are the foundation of the bengal cat breed. The offspring of an amain leopard cat and a bengal are F1, the offspring of an F1 and a bengal are F2, the offspring of a F2 and a bengal are F3 and so on.
4.) SBT :
SBT stands for "Stud Book Tradition" and is referring to a bengal that is 4 or more generations bred away from the Asian leopard cat. Once a bengal is in the SBT generation, it is considered domestic and is able to be accepted for showing. SBT cats usually will have less then 1% wild blood left.
5.) Asian Leopard Cat or ALC:
The wild ancestor of the bengal cat. Latin species name is called felis bengalensis, from which the name "Bengal "was derived. The ALC is a small, shy, nocturnal spotted cat and is the most numerous of the small wild cat species. For more information on ALC's please go to this page.
6.) Fuzzy coat or fuzzies:
A stage most bengal kittens go through starting at about 5 weeks old and lasting to about 16 weeks old or more. Believed to be a trait that comes from the ALC in which the coat changes in color and texture and becomes grayish and fuzzy, obscuring the pattern. The pattern is usually the worst right around the time the kitten is ready to go to it's new home, at about 11-12 weeks old and then starts the clearing process from then on. Bengal fuzzies generally are not completely clear till after they reach 8 months old. Not all bengal kittens get fuzzy coats and some get fuzzies worse than others. The best time to determine how a coat will look is before 5 weeks of age or after the fuzzies clear.
7.) Glitter or glittered:
A trait unique to the bengal breed that causes the hair to sparkle like a prism. In brown bengals the glitter is a gold color and in snow or charcoal bengals the glitter appears crystalline or silver. It is most easily seen in bright natural sunlight. Some glitter comes from the hair shaft being hollow at the ends and some comes from actual flakes of the mineral "mica" being encased in the hair shaft. Not all bengals are glittered and it is not part of the breed standard but many consider it desirable. The picture below is of "Savannah palace Ami" one of our cats, who is glittered. This is an actual picture of her glitter and the photo is not touched up in any way.
glitter - click on pic for larger image
8.) Pelt or pelted:
Describes the exceptionally soft feel of a bengal's fur. Like a wild cat's fur. Not all bengals are pelted but this is a highly desirable trait.
A patch of white hairs ranging from only a few hairs to a large patch. Lockets are not to be confused with white hair on the belly, legs, or face that is supposed to be white. A locket though can occur anywhere on the body, including on areas where white fur is supposed to be so sometimes it might be impossible or nearly impossible to see the locket. Lockets will generally have pink skin and there will be no pattern where the locket is. On a brown cat, even on the white areas, if you see an area that is very, very white compared to the rest of the white in the surrounding area then the very white area is probably a locket. Lockets are considered undesirable and are considered a fault for showing.
In the picture below: A melanistic kitten with a locket (area circled in red). If this kitten were not melanistic we probably would not have known that this kitten had a locket because the area where this locket is generally white anyway, especially on kittens.
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Sacramento CA, 95835
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